Dear Comp Lit colleagues and students,
A warm welcome to our new incoming Ph.D. class, and an equally warm welcome back to all of us who are returning!
I trust that as the summer draws to a close, you find yourselves refreshed and invigorated for what promises to be an exciting and stimulating academic year.
My own summer took me far and wide, with travel to Europe and South Africa, as I reconnected with my research and writing, and discovered new perspectives on both. I feel stimulated and energized as I put the finishing touches to the syllabus for my fall seminar, “Africa—In Theory.”
We in the Comp Lit community have good reason to feel a strong sense of expectation and anticipation. For the first time since Fall 2020, we are welcoming a new Ph.D. class. The five talented students range widely in their interests across Russian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Black diasporic literatures, as well as in Western philosophy, with theoretical sophistication to match linguistic and scholarly breadth.
In addition to the excitement I feel in welcoming our incoming class, I'm happy to announce that we will be conducting a faculty search this year for a scholar in South Asian literatures. I will relay more information about the search in the coming weeks, as the process moves ahead.
Entering my first full year as chair, I am filled with confidence that Comp Lit is in a new phase of growth.
At the same time, we see an evolution in the university’s measures relating to the pandemic, which take us closer to a return to normalcy, or at least toward a “new normal.” NYU’s COVID-19 protocols for the fall have been meaningfully relaxed. Classroom masking rules now give those of us teaching greater freedom of choice. Changes in vaccination verification procedures make it more straightforward to organize a conference or public lecture with attendees from outside of NYU.
We will be taking full advantage of the updated regulations to hold more in-person events. Here is a sampling of what is on offer in just the next few weeks:
Thursday, September 8th at 4 pm
The Comp Lit Proseminar Syllabus: Workshopping the Problem with Emily Apter, Brent Hayes Edwards, Gil Hochberg, Samuel Hodgkin & Xudong Zhang
Thursday, September 29th at 5 pm
Black Studies & the Contemporary Student with Surya Parekh - Phillis Wheatley Pursues Poetic Freedom
Tuesday, October 11th at 11 am
CALAMEGS Lecture Series with Madina Thiam
And don’t forget! . . . The Comp Lit / German Welcome Reception
Monday, September 12th, from 6:30-7:30pm in the Deutsches Haus Courtyard
Food & drink provided, come and mingle . . .
I feel proud this year again to be part of a brilliant administrative team, comprising Jay Garcia (DGS), Emma Bianchi (DUS), Zakir Paul (Director, Poetics & Theory), Hala Halim (Director, CALAMEGS, returning in spring 2023), A.M. Wild (Departmental Administrator), Deirdre Collins (Administrative Aide), Michael Ernst (Graduate Assistant—Events Coordinator), Santiago Ospina Celis (Graduate Assistant—Poetics & Theory), and Sandy Battulga (Undergraduate Office Assistant).
Looking forward to seeing you at the Fall reception on Monday the 12th!
With late-summer greetings—all the best,